Finding a Way through Autism

Written by  Stacey Hoaglun

Recent findings from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirm that autism continues to be on the rise.

The 2012 report concluded that the rate of autism in children in the United States is 1 in 88; 1 in 54 boys; and the rate for girls has gone from 1 for every 4 boys, to 1 for every 5. We are certainly in a time of extreme growth and continued uncertainty as to the causes and growth of autism spectrum disorder. One thing is clear…. closer examination is warranted if not essential.

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What does this mean to families?

With more than 3,600 children in Broward County Schools with autism spectrum disorder, thousands of families are impacted. Early diagnosis jump-starts opportunities for success.
According to the CDC, Know the Signs/Act Early Campaign, some of the signs of autism spectrum disorder exhibited by children include:

• Not respond to their name by 12 months
• Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by
14 months
• Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18 months
• Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
• Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about
their own feelings
• Have delayed speech and language skills
• Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
• Give unrelated answers to questions
• Get upset by minor changes
• Have obsessive interests
• Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
• Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
During the period between diagnosis and intervention in particular, parents
may experience a period of grieving.. The roller coaster feelings about their child’s development can cause a parent to feel down or infuse them with added energy.

If You Are Concerned

If you think your child may show some deficits in the way they play, learn, speak or behave, contact your child’s doctor and share your concerns. If, after a consultation, either you or your doctor continue to have these concerns, ask for a referral to a specialist who can conduct a more indepth evaluation of your child. This may include a visit to a developmental pediatrician, child neurologist, psychologist or psychiatrist. For children under the age of 3, contact Child Find to request an evaluation and guidance to intervention services. Read more in www.aldeaeducativamagazine.com

Aldea Magazine Edición 7

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